Vadzim Godzdanker has won the Event #1 $1,100 MPP Open at the Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party for a cool $150,000. The Belorussian victory came after a colossal heads-up battle with Italy's Alessio Isaia as the chip lead swung back and forth between the two players.
After 90 minutes of heads-up play, the winning moment came when Godzdanker shoved with king-nine suited and was called by Isaia's ace-jack off.
Godzdanker hit a king on the flop and had to dodge Isaia's 12 outs on the river to secure the win to the absolute delight of Godzdanker's wife who screamed so loud the chandeliers shook in the beautiful poker arena at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel and Casino in North Cyprus.
Start of the day chip leader Selahaddin Bedir ultimately finished in third place after being chip leader for most of the day. After losing some big pots the Turkish high-roller was eliminated after running ace-queen into Godzdanker's ace-king and could not improve.
Event #1 $1,100 MPP Open - Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party
Speaking to PokerNews via a translator Godzdanker could not believe that they had won the tournament. " I don't understand how I won, but I am sure the elation will come in time."
The champion was the chip leader of the turbo flight which was held on Sunday evening and played on until 4 a.m. local time on Monday morning. PokerNews asked if they managed to get any sleep before starting again at noon on Monday. Godzdanker revealed, "I relaxed in my room watching Manchester United versus Liverpool which helped me get off to sleep."
Godzdanker is a regular player at Casino Sochi where he won a side event at EPT Sochi in 2020 and also plays in his home city of Minsk. Originally they were not planning on coming to North Cyprus until they were convinced by a group of friends to come. PokerNews asked how he was enjoying the Merit Royal Diamond Resort "I have loved my time here, I enjoy the good food, the scenery the beautiful mountains, and the sea. I am planning to come back here again and again."
Final Table Action
Iosebi Laperashvili was the first casualty of the day. Timur Margolin moved all-in on the flop with middle pair and Laperashvili called with a gut-shot straight flush draw. The remaining community cards were bricks, and the Georgian was eliminated.
Finishing in eighth place was Raoul Iancovici of Romania who was the start of day short stack. They moved all in from under the gun with king-high and ran into Bedir’s pocket aces and cashed for $18,000 their biggest ever recorded payday and moved them into the six-figure mark for live earnings.
Two-time WSOP winner Margolin had a topsy-turvy day. Starting the day seventh in chips, the Israeli briefly took the chip lead but lost a massive chunk of their stack when they ran pocket jacks into Godzdanker’s pocket kings. Godzdanker finished the job a few hands later when they caught Margolin bluffing and Margolin finished in the same position that they started the day in.
Eleftherios Sinnos stack dwindled throughout the day and ended up with less than one big blind before moving all in from the button. Bedir’s pocket sevens were the middle pin of a nine-high straight which beat the Cypriot’s pair of eights to knock him out in sixth place for $28,000. This was the second cash in the space of a month above $20,000 for Sinnos.
Fellow Cypriot Frederick Anastasiades who started the day second in chips was the next to fall from the field when they shoved with pocket fours and was called in two spots. When the cards were revealed at the showdown Ben Hershkovich turned over pocket nines to take down the pot. Hershkovich was eliminated shortly after finishing in fourth after running ace-queen into Godzdanker’s pocket jacks to take home $46,000.
This concludes the coverage of the opening event at the Mediterranean Poker Party. Stay tuned to PokerNews for further coverage from the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel .